Canada’s Conservatives won’t fix their party just by dumping Andrew Scheer

Canada’s Conservatives won’t fix their party just by dumping Andrew Scheer

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

As he rose on the floor of the Commons to say his farewells, it was a humble, sincere and likeable Andrew Scheer who spoke. Where was this man in the 56 months he was given by Conservative membership to convince Canadians he should replace Justin Trudeau?

It no longer matters. The narrative woven through early headlines suggested the final affront by Scheer had been accepting payments from the party to help fund his children’s private education. But let’s be honest: if he’d been a winner, that money would not have been the issue.

But Andrew Scheer did not win. And the knives out for him did not stay sheathed. In the days following the election, polling data by the Angus Reid Institute showed his own base was evenly split over his future. Forty-one per cent of Conservative voters said he should stay on to lead his party into the next election. Forty-two per cent said he should go. By contrast, vast majorities of their own respective bases wanted Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Sign to stay at the helm of the Liberal and NDP ships.

Scheer’s supporters attempted to counter by suggesting a pro-secular, anti-religious electorate had been his undoing. This too was debunked by data when Canadians professed they were as aware of Scheer’s devout Catholicism as of Singh’s Sikh orthodoxy (two-thirds were in each case), but were more likely to view Scheer negatively for his faith than Singh. It wasn’t Scheer’s religion. It was just Scheer.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.


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